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Abstract

The Uruguay Round agreement on agriculture was a milestone, bringing this important sector under the disciplines from which it had escaped in the early days of the GATT. The agreement limits the distortions that countries may impose on: market access, on export subsidization and domestic support. In this paper, we evaluate the direct impacts of each of these limits, and then assess the economic implications of the agreement. Our conclusion is that the gains from the agriculture agreement were reduced considetably by the slippage which occurred in its implementation. They remain important, however, and are estimated to account for around a third of the global income gains from the liberalization achieved in the Round, even though formal modeling of the outcome omits the important gains from reductions in the variability of agricultunll protection. Perhaps most importantly, the agreement provides a basis for future liberalization.

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